As Cal’s Elon Butler fouled out in the seventh inning of the third game to conclude a series sweep for the Washington Huskies, one thing became clear: The Bears put on one of their more gloomy showings of the season.
Before Sunday, the blue and gold hadn’t lost three consecutive matchups, let alone three to one team. Thanks to Washington’s sensational 32 runs scored over two days, this respectable statistic no longer exists for the Bears.
The Bears failed to win their third Pac-12 series of the year, losing by scores of 4-6, 5-16 and 4-10. Cal’s record dropped to 24-12-1 and 6-8-1 in the conference, while Washington improved to 29-8 and 10-5 in the respective categories.
A typical prognosis, pitching proved to be a sore spot for the blue and gold. The weekend saw the Bears allow the Huskies to produce a hit in a dominant 38% of total plate appearances.
In Game 2 alone, the purple and gold posted 16 RBIs in just 24 at-bats, which was good enough to be the most runs the Bears have allowed all year.
Cal simply didn’t have juice in the circle as the team allowed over six runs in all three games — a figure it’s avoided since the 15-6 March 18 win over Oregon State. Pitchers Haylei Archer and Annabel Teperson struggled to slow down the Huskies, which comes as a surprise given their strong records.
Although the series didn’t go as planned for the Bears’ pitching, they did post a total of 13 runs, which would’ve been serviceable against most opponents thus far. Evidently, the bats somewhat offer momentum for the team to build on in future affairs.
Racking up three hits in Saturday’s Game 3 defeat was Acacia Anders. The sophomore from Vacaville, California, had her first three-hit game of the season and was just one hit shy of her career high of four, which she set against Washington in 2022.
“While I was at the plate, my goal was to get on base for my teammates. I was happy I was able to do that,” Anders said. “Although we did not get the results we wanted, we fought hard through every inning.”
Anders applauded her team’s continuous drive to compete through rain delays and schedule conflicts. The series’ first two games served as a double-header — almost a week after Cal’s game against the University of the Pacific was also rescheduled and then canceled due to wet conditions.
Adding to the short list of positives, Tatum Anzaldo and Kacey Zobac both had hits in all three contests.
Despite these highlights, the Bears’ weekend was a disappointment.
Cal was surely hoping to earn its third win against a ranked opponent and failed to do so. Even worse, the blue and gold didn’t even come close to replicating seasons past when the team took two of three contests against the Huskies.
Regardless, the team has to keep playing.
“We are excited to get back to work this week for our upcoming games,” Anders said.
Prior to getting swept by the purple and gold, the Bears were 5-3 in games following a loss. That figure has now worsened to 5-5.
In addition, Cal’s once-confident 6-2-1 road record is now 6-5-1 — much less intimidating for opponents who welcome the Bears from Berkeley.
Looking ahead, the blue and gold remain on the road for the next week, traveling to face Sacramento State and UNLV. The Bears don’t host a series at their home Levine-Fricke Field until late April, when the Oregon Ducks take a trip to the Bay.
Cal has to take advantage of its break from Pac-12 play in order to keep its record healthy. There is arguably no better time for the team to get back on track than the next few games.